Marissa Nadler’s new album, For My Crimes.

Maris­sa Nadler’s For My Crimes.

For My Crimes is Maris­sa Nadler’s eighth album, and it has the dis­tinct air of being the cul­mi­na­tion of every­thing she’s being cir­cling around for the last decade or so. As such, it feels as much like a great­est hits album as it does a new record. Which makes it the per­fect entry point for any­one yet to sam­ple her very dis­tinc­tive and ample charms.

Maris­sa Nadler.

Dream folk is the some­what reduc­tive label some­times applied to her sound. What you get here on this album is that com­bi­na­tion of lush, Goth­ic-pop, anchored by plain­tive, indie coun­try, buoyed by the sound of melod­ic met­al, each of which she’d pre­vi­ous­ly toyed with, indi­vid­u­al­ly, on pre­vi­ous albums. But all of which she melds so that they cohere here, on one round­ed album.

Or, to put it anoth­er way, it’s Sharon Van Etten meets Lana Del Rey via Roy Orbi­son. Van Etten actu­al­ly pro­vides guest back­ing vocals on one of the tracks here, as does Angel Olsen. The title track, which very much sets the tone for the rest of the album, began as a test that her hus­band set her, to write a lyric in the voice of some­one on death row, as Olivia Horn writes in her review on Pitch­fork here, where she gives it a respect­ful 7.2.

Sharon Van Etten in Twin Peaks sea­son 3.

Though clear­ly auto­bi­o­graph­ic in the feel­ings they describe, Nadler’s are songs fil­tered through the prism of the craft of sto­ry telling, in much the same way that those of Nick Cave and Bob Dylan are. As such, they are expres­sion­is­tic rather than con­fes­sion­al. The result is duski­ly atmos­pher­ic and glo­ri­ous­ly cinematic.

You can see the video for Blue Vapor here.


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